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SWIFT On Track to Cut Messaging Costs By 50%

SWIFT, which is also expanding into other messaging technology services, is half way to reaching is cost cutting goal by 2015.

SWIFT, the global payments provider and messaging standard body, is on track to reach its goal of a 50% payment cost reduction by 2015, reports Chris Church, chief executive Americas and Head of Secirities, SWIFT Americas at a press briefing in New York.

SWIFT, which set a goal of reducing payment costs for SWIFT members by 50% in its five-year plan set in 2010, has been able to achieve the cost savings through greater efficiencies and scale. "We are seeing double digit growth in the messaging business," Church says. "The volatility in the securities market is higher, so there is more messaging, and the global economy is getting stronger. You can correlate the payments traffic to the health of the economy. We are able to reduce costs by 50% because of scale ... more companies are putting more of their business on SWIFT."

While SWIFT has been reducing payment costs, it has also been branching out into other areas, such as consulting services and analytic tools that can mine the billions of messages that flow through SWIFT's network for more information. "In the Americas, the consulting business has grown 40% [CAGR] each year since 2010," according to Church.

"I don't know if it will grow at 40% going forward," because when the business started there was a definite need for it, Church says. The growth in the U.S. mirrors similar growth in the consulting services business in Europe and more recently in Asia. When the consulting business started, it was focused on IT an operational consulting. Today it is expanding into client on boarding and other business operations, Church adds.

In the analytics space, SWIFT launched its SWIFT Business Intelligence portfolio in October of 2012. The service is a cloud-based business intelligence tool that analyzes SWIFT messages for patterns. "The business intelligence product leverages information for proactive decision making," says Stacy Rosenthal, regional solutions manager at SWIFT.

The suite includes Watch Analytics, for analyzing SWIFT messaging; Watch Insights, a BI dashboard; The SWIFT Index, an early indicator of the short-term evolution of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) based on analyzing SWIFT messages; RMB Tracker, a monthly report on Renminbi (RMB) progress towards becoming an international currency; and consulting services. Greg MacSweeney is editorial director of InformationWeek Financial Services, whose brands include Wall Street & Technology, Bank Systems & Technology, Advanced Trading, and Insurance & Technology. View Full Bio

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